Art Along Trails

Murals, sculptures, decorative paving, and memorials can all be ways of enhancing trails with art.

A photo gallery of murals, sculptures, decorative paving, and memorials.

by Stuart Macdonald, Trail Consultant, American Trails

August 17, 2018

Art can celebrate history, as sculptures at National Historic Trail sites. Art can also add richness to the historic elements that have been preserved along with trail corridors. Images of former railroads and the urban past have inspired art along rail trails. Some trails wind through industrial areas where murals add interest to walls and bridges. Art can also bring an element of surprise and unexpected elements along the trail route. Art can be a way of involving more of the community in trails, and schools have also taken on an artistic project for a greenway. Here are some selections from the wide variety of artistic installations on trails across America.

About the Author

Stuart Macdonald spent 19 years as Colorado's State Trails Coordinator. He is the editor of American Trails Magazine. During 1998-99, he represented State Trail Administrators on the national committee that proposed regulations for accessible trails. He chaired the National Recreational Trails Committee, which advised the Federal Highway Administration in the first years of the Recreational Trails Program. Stuart grew up in San Diego and his main outdoor interest besides trails is surfing. He has a BA in English from San Francisco State and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Utah State.

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